Honey So Sweet, Vol 8

Honey So Sweet Volume 8

Honey So Sweet, Vol. 8 written and illustrated by Amu Meguro

To be published: Oct 3, 2017

Yashiro,  after weeks of teasing, finally kisses Misaki. Both are shocked by it, and Yashiro ends up avoiding him for a few days. Yashiro goes to talk to Nao about it and finally confesses that she likes Misaki but hadn’t intended on kissing him originally. Nao encourages her to tell Misaki how she really feels, and she does by kissing him again and swearing more in the future. Nao and Tai have been going out for a year, and go out on a date to celebrate. They see Sousuke, Nao’s guardian at a diner with Tai’s mom, and Nao realizes she’s never thought about him having any kind of love life or wanting to be with someone. This comes into sharp focus once Nao and Tai meet Aoi, a former high school classmate of Sou’s and they see the reaction Sou gives when they see each other. Is love in the air for Sou? The end of the book fasts forward to seven years after their second year of high school and it is now Nao and Tai’s ninth anniversary. What surprises are in store for the couple? To find out, read the exciting conclusion of the Honey So Sweet series. Recommended for ages 13+, 5 stars. 

I was so sad to learn that this was the final volume of this series! It seems way too short. Misaki and Yashiro’s budding relationship is so awkward and adorable, especially when he tries to be “be a man” and kiss her first, failing because she kisses him first again. But of course nothing is as cute as Nao and Tai together. The title is very appropriate in this volume, as we see how much the two of them care for each other – wanting to share the gifts they gave each other to other and being able to express their feelings to each other (i.e. Nao commenting that “just being with Tai makes [her] feel giddy”). I’m glad Sousuke gets some face time, he’s probably one of my favorite characters in the series because he’s so selfless, but there’s hardly any mention of him except in the context of Nao liking him more than an uncle in the beginning of the series, or as a passing mention when Nao does something stupid and he has to be her parent. Aww, I adore the part when Aoi tells Sou talk about how happy Nao looks and how that is entirely because of him and how he has raised her. And it was totally sweet when Tai told Sou that he is his role model, as Sou had been questioning himself being a good parent, and I think it was exactly what he wanted to hear. I’m not usually a fan of guys giving girls roses because it is pretty cliche, but I loved the enormous bunch Tai gave Nao at the end of the manga. 

Disclaimer: I received this ARC from Viz Media Inc. in exchange for my honest review. 

Advertisements

Uphill Battle

Without going into too many details, the last year has been really hard on me emotionally and I feel like I’m just crawling my way out of a deep dark hole.  At first I thought there was no way out of it, but with a lot of help from friends and family, I am starting to see the daylight again. For the first time in a very long time, I am starting to be happy again, though my journey is far from done. When I saw this this afternoon, I just had to share it. Check out Grant Snider, he does some great illustrations on being a writer and struggling with emotions and motivation. 

Kimi Ni Todoke: From Me to You, Vol. 27

kimi-ni-todoke-27

Kimi Ni Todoke: From Me to You, Vol. 27 by Karuho Shiina

To be published: Sept 5, 2017

Sawako has been thinking about Kazehaya-kun all summer, though they’ve not seen each other very much. When he suddenly calls her to tell her his mother is in the hospital and he’s been trying unsuccessfully to make dinner, she immediately jumps to his rescue bringing a full meal. She impresses his father, but he is less impressed with his son. Father and son get into a fight and Shota is finally able to express himself and get his father to really listen to him about what he wants to do with his life. Sawako and Shota go to visit his mother in the hospital and they talk about his dad and how similar the two of them are, and his mom reveals how proud his father is of him (even if he doesn’t show it). His father lets him attend university with one major condition, and Sawako wants to celebrate by taking him on a day trip far away, just the two of them. Soon it is time for final exams and everyone is studying hard to get into university. Ayane confesses to her friends that she likes Mr. Arai. Will Ayane be able to tell Pin how she really feels? Recommended for ages 14+, 5 stars. 

The last couple of volumes have been kind of hit and miss, so I’m glad the author/illustrator finally got into more meaty storylines, i.e. Shota and his father finally talking and him figuring out what he wants to do with his life. I wished that Sawako and Kazehaya-kun had made more progress towards a post-high school relationship, but hopefully that will come soon. The two of them are so freaking adorable together, the way they are always taking care of each other. I hope Shota proposes in the future and they can move in together. 

On to the parts I enjoyed. I liked it when Shota’s younger brother Tota kept teasing them about acting like newlyweds because they were acting so cautious and nervous around each other, when Sawako brought dinner to their house. I liked that Shota tells Sawako that she is his inspiration for telling his father the truth, that part was really sweet. I loved Shota finding that drawer full of stuff his father collected from him over the years to prove how much he really loved him. He really needed to know the truth – that his dad was not the hard ass he always pretends to be, but really cares deeply for him.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from Simon and Schuster (Viz Media LLC) in exchange for my honest review. 

Ethiopian Orthodox Art

Found this post of mine from about 4 yrs ago on a previous blog after I was contacted about it and thought it would interesting enough to repost. I had fun learning about the Ethiopian Orthodox church and their gorgeous artwork.

Library Mom

Mary and Jesus with Archangels (similar to a piece from the exhibition)

Mary and Jesus with Archangels

This past Saturday I was asked to give a talk on Ethiopian Orthodox Church art for an exhibition that has been going on since March at our church. Though I have training in Museum and Gallery Studies, and especially art with my Art History undergraduate degree, I had never actually given an art talk. So it was both nerve-wracking and exciting for me, and I spent about three weeks researching the topic (which was rather complicated and hard to summarize, but everyone in attendance seemed to enjoy it). A parishioner and member of the church committee that I’m a part of called Faith Through the Arts, allowed us to use her pieces for this first exhibit. They consisted of Ethiopian Orthdox Church icons on wood and goatskin that featured brightly colored images of the Virgin Mary, Jesus and…

View original post 1,304 more words

Heroine Worship

Heroine Worship

Heroine Worship (Heroine Complex #2) by Sarah Kuhn

Published July 4, 2017

Aveda Jupiter, badass superheroine extraordinaire, is bored. Ever since she and her best friend (and former personal assistant) fire-wielder Evie Tanaka stopped a demon invasion four months earlier, Ms. Jupiter (aka Annie Chang) has been frustrated with the lack of opportunities for superheroine intervention in San Francisco, but also because no one takes her seriously and everyone thinks she is just a attention-hogging diva. She wants to be an exemplary best friend to Evie, and so when Evie gets engaged and asks her to be the maid of honor, she takes her job very seriously. Things finally start happening with Scott, the mage who works with her company, and Annie has been in love with him forever. Only the damn demons seem to keep getting in the way of everything. Can Evie and Aveda set aside their difference and work together to defeat these demons? 3-1/2 stars. 

This book draggggggggged a lot, especially in the middle. I kept waiting for the plot to progress and it did eventually, but took its sweet time to get there. If I didn’t like the characters so much, I probably wouldn’t have finished it. The first book in the series, Heroine Complex, was entirely from the viewpoint of Evie and I really sympathized with her for having deal with someone who never appreciated her and what she did for her boss/friend. This book is entirely from Annie/Aveda’s viewpoint, which is completely different. We find out pretty early on that Annie is not the overly-confident diva that she originally appears but is completely vulnerable and emotional, especially after she realizes what a complete b**** she’s been to her best friend over the years. Then there’s Scott, the mage she’s known for years who she has had a crush on since she was twelve years old, and who has only recently started acting like a normal human being with her. I loved the interaction between the two of them and how shy they were as they got to know each other again, properly this time. 

Disclaimer: I received this book, from Berkley Publishing Group via Netgalley, in exchange for my honest review. 

 

The Waking Land

The Waking Land

The Waking Land  by Callie Bates

To be published: June 27, 2017

Lady Elanna Valtai (El for short) was kidnapped at age five by the King of Ereni because of her father’s political connections and designs. She is raised as the adopted daugher in King Antoine’s court but never fits in because everyone thinks her family are traitors. Fourteen years pass and El has cut all ties to her family and considers herself Ereni. That is until the King is mysteriously murdered, and she is blamed for it. She escapes with the help of a mysterious young man with magical abilities named Lord Jahan and his party of Caerisi supporters. She soon has to deal with her parents that abandoned her so long ago, and the semi-dormant nature magic she has been keeping secret for years. Magic is forbidden and is punishable by death. Will El be able to lead the rebellion that will determine her destiny and possibly her future love? Recommended for ages 14+, 4-1/2 stars. 

I adored this book! The world-building was great and the author really did manage to create a rich detailed novel. El could be a spoiled princess who cares about nobody but herself (like her adopted sister Loyce), but she is way more than that. This is especially true after she realizes all that is going on her around her – i.e. her role in the political machinations of her father and the kingdom of Ereni. Eren reminded me of late medieval/early Renaissance England, while Caeris reminded me a lot of Scotland with a splash of Ireland, and a little bit of Diana Gabaldon with the magic stones and power of the earth element of the story. I loved the El and Jahan story! Finn totally reminded me of Leith from the TV show Reign, in fact the actor is who I picture in my head whenever I read about him. He’s got that whole innocent caught in the middle vibe, especially in regard to being the next king, and I do feel a little bad for him as he’s seems to have feelings for El. That marriage to the land scene at the end of the book…wow is all I can say.

There were two things I didn’t like about this book. The first was that the story dragged a bit in the beginning and end, which dragged the story out unnecessarily, and made it hard to get into and then I was praying for it to hurry up and end. Second, there was not enough background information on one of my favorite characters besides El, Jahan Korakides. Seriously, he’s El’s love interest and all you know are some vague details about the guy and he’s the most interesting character because he’s a sorcerer who completely hides this fact and manages to live amongst royalty. 

 

Male Anime/Manga Characters

I’ve been reading mangas since 2nd grad school (Dec 2009) and have been watching animes for at least that long. While I am not the most prolific reader, as I tend to read mainly shoujo manga (girly romance mangas about high school/college students), I like that they are so brief and I can usually finish one in about an hour if I read straight through. Plus the stories are so addictive and some series go on for 20+ books! I have been kind of bored blogging lately, mostly because once again my personal life is insane, so I figured I would start up again with a topic I love. I’m currently reading the Honey So Sweet series by Amu Meguru, and I adore Taiga (the main leading guy). 

Since there are so many series and characters, I figured I would describe them based on the series vs the character as some of them I like multiple characters. 

Inuyasha (anime – though there is a manga)

Inuyasha: My first anime love. The half human/half fox demon is what started my fox fascination, and I love the way he is stubborn about everything, mostly because he feels inadequate in comparison to his full-demon brother Sesshomaru, and probably not good enough for Kagome.

Kamisama Kiss by Julietta Suzuki (manga and anime)

Tomoe: Fox demon, what can I say? I do find it amusing that originally the manga was supposed to be an erotic hentai series because it definitely has overt sexual overtones. Plus there’s just something about manga/anime characters with violet eyes. 

Ouran High School Host Club by Bisco Hatori (manga and anime)

Hikaru

Hikaru: Red hot-headed Hikaru who never knows what he wants until it is almost too late. I’m really pissed that Haruhi never ends up with him as I think he loves her more than Tamaki ever would. 

Mori

Mori: The strong silent one, Mori is my tied for my favorite overall one (along with Kyoya),  even though he never says much. 

Kyoya: The cold calculating guy who never does anything without a good reason, but he lets Haruhi into his heart and I think it makes him a better person. 

Kimi Ni Todoke (From Me to You) by Kahuro Shiina (manga)

Ryu and Chizuru

Ryu: While everyone I’m sure likes Kazehaya, he is not my favorite character in this series. Once again, I like the strong silent type, in this case, he is named Ryu. He falls in love with the exuberant Chizuru who was always in love with his older brother, and patiently waits for her to notice him finally after so many years of treating him like a brother. 

High School Debut by Kazuna Kawahara (manga)

Yoh

Yoh: This one was such a weird story, but I love Yoh’s character. The main character, a girl named Haruna is hopeless when it comes to guys. She is an athletic tomboy who has never really attracted boys before, so she enlists the help of a popular non-chalant guy name Yoh, who of course promptly falls in love. He gets too embarrassed showing affection and Haruna is so clueless about love and attraction. 

Dengeki Daisy by Kyousuke Motomi (manga)

Kurosaki3.jpg

(Tasuku) Kurosaki: I love stories like this where there’s a supposed bad guy that turns out to actually be really caring and affectionate given the right girl. “Daisy” has been watching out for Teru since her brother died, but she never knew who he was. She later discovers, when she is 16, that he is the 24 yr old janitor at her high school and is actually an internationally known computer hacker who is not the malicious guy he originally seems to be. There is a bit of a perv vibe because of their age difference, but at heart Kurosaki is a really nice guy who got caught in some bad stuff has been trying to atone for it, and finally finds the love he has needed since he was an orphaned kid after his father was killed when he was very young. 

Honey so Sweet by Amu Meguru

Taiga Onise: Tai is just like Haru from My Little Monster in that they are both misunderstood violent “juvenile delinquents” who end up finding happiness with the most random girls (Nao in Tai’s case – a completely mousy girl who most guys would probably ignore). He decides he wants to date Nao with the prospect of marriage and eventually she feels the same way. I’m only 6 volumes in, but I love this series. Tai and Nao are too cute! His hair and piercings remind a little of Miyamura from Horimiya (see Miyamura under the Megane section below). 

The Demon Prince of Momochi House by Aya Shouoto (manga)

Aoi and Nue

Aoi: He is almost too pretty to be real with that dark hair and blue eyes. After Himari Momochi (an orphan) inherits Momochi house when she turns 16, she discovers that she’s not the only one living there. There are also three gorgeous squatters: Aoi, a mysterious boy and his two shikigami (helpers). Yay for reverse harems!

The Nue: The most effeminate demon I’ve ever seen, he is Aoi’s demon form and the protector of Momochi House (the gateway between the spirit/demon and human worlds) that is part fox, butterfly, and cat demons. He reminds me a lot of Tomoe with the way he moves/acts. 

Black Butler by Yana Tobosco (manga)

Sebastian2

Sebastian Michaelis: Bound to Ciel Phantomhive, this demon from hell is bound to the twelve-year old boy and they have a very odd relationship. Like you’re never quite sure if they have “that kind” of relationship or it is simply a very efficient servant and his master, mostly because it looks like Sebastian could literally devour him in a moment (which is technically true as he is waiting to devour his soul). 

Library Wars by Kiiro Yumi (manga – though apparently there is live action and anime version as well)

Instructor Dojo: He’s such a hard ass the first half of the book and so in love with Kashara, but there are both too afraid it to admit to each other because of the whole superior/soldier relationship they have for majority of the series. They were so awkward it was so adorable. I hated the way this ended  (it was a bit too tied up in a bow). 

Megane

Kyoya glasses

I liked Megane characters before I even really knew what they were. Megane or Megane Danshi literally means “attractive men with glasses”, and refers specifically to teenage/adult men who wear glasses in anime and manga. Apparently this is a fetish, or versions of it are. I don’t consider it one, just because I’ve almost always worn glasses, I like guys with them too. According to the following webpage, there are four basic types:

  • For sweet, shy guys with glasses who inspire Moe feelings of protectiveness, see Meganekko (technically this term refers only to girls with glasses, but for convenience boys of this type go under the same trope).
  • For guys whose glasses indicate that they are studious, aloof, or stoic, see Stoic Spectacles.
  • For cruel lovers (mostly men) with glasses who inspire kinky masochistic fetishes, see Bespectacled Bastard Boyfriend.
  • For glasses explicitly treated as a fetish object, see Sexy Spectacles.

According to this website, “Glasses on a male character often denote a cultured, cool, and collected nature. Their signature pose is probably them adjusting their glasses, looking pensive all the while. The megane danshi is almost always an aloof and attractive intellectual. The person below that image may be sweet, shy, or even sadistic.”

Favorite Megane Characters:

Kyoya Ootori (Ouran High School Host Club): He is probably my favorite one, as he is sexy, smart and attractive (not to mention sarcastic). Plus he is so not a morning person. He is usually portrayed as having a cold personality, but I think most of it is just a front to protect himself. I wish he would’ve made a move on Haruhi, as I think they are a better match than her and Tamaki. 

Kousei Arima - Your Lie in April

Kousei Arama (Your Lie in April, known in Japan as Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso or just simply Kimiuso): I discovered this one on Netflix as I’m always looking for good anime to watch, and I fell in love with this character. He’s super shy and has only ever been identified as a piano player but after having a break down after his mother passed away, he hasn’t touched it in years. But a new girl coming into his life changes all that. He is the seriously most adorable character ever!

Miyamura Izumi - Horimiya

Miyamura (Horimiya): Discovered this one by accident and just fell in love with his character. He was bullied as a kid, and so got tattoos and piercings to cope. He has to hide them in high school, as the shy quiet kid, and does successfully until meeting Hori and falling for her in this other guise. As I was always a shy kid growing up (and a bit now), I can identify with both Hori and Miyamura.

Sousuke Kogure

Sousuke Kogure (Honey So Sweet): Sou is Nao’s guardian and uncle, but only about ten years older than Nao. He quits his job to take care of her and for awhile, she thinks she’s in love with him. 

Other Examples:

Sebastian - Black Butler

Sebastian (Black Butler): He doesn’t need glasses but he wears them occasionally. He is gorgeous with or without, must be the demon thing.

Shigure Sohma - Fruits Basket

Shigura Sohma (Fruits Basket): Usually only wears them when he writes (he’s a novelist), he’s such a smartass, but also a really good guy.

Tasuka Kurosaki (Dengeki Daisy): Only wears them occasionally, but I love this character. He feels unworthy because of his hacker past but he is really a great guy who deeply cares about Teru, originally his charge and later he falls in love with her.